Management hunts, particularly stag or buck management hunts are becoming more popular in New Zealand. Game estates have operated for many years now and as populations have increased there has been a need for culling to keep both the deer numbers down and the trophy quality up. Non-trophy animals are not usually marketed as a hunting option to visiting hunters but that is changing as born-behind-the-wire male populations increase.
Outfitters are becoming aware that clients like to fire a few shots when they are in New Zealand and are quite keen to top up their bag with a weaker stag or buck, or pay for their partner or child to take one. The price is very reasonable, and the quality of the stag, in the case of a red stag may still carry up to 12 points and be in the lower bronze medal bracket.
How cheap I hear you ask? The daily guiding fee still applies but then you are here anyway, and the trophy fee for a management stag is in the US$1,000 to $1,500 range. For example Aotearoa Safaris charges $1,000 for a management red stag and Poronui charges about the same for a management red stag or sika stag.
The three main management species are red stag, sika stag. and fallow buck. Female animals are much cheaper again. Nearly all management hunts occur in the game estates, not on free-range private or public land. I will be writing more about management hunts in a future Hunting Report article. The photos show two good management animals: a long six point sika and a long and wide 11 point red stag.